TANZANIA to ZAMBIA
Date: 24th September 2013
Border Post: Kasesya / Zombe
We were returning to Zambia through the same border post as we exited from. Our departure from Zambia six weeks earlier was problem free – our re-entry proved to be a bit more challenging…
Arriving at the border post it is easy to see where to go and what to do. We par ked under the roof outside customs and went to see immigration.
1. The immigration building is to the right of the customs building. Our Immigration officer was not there, so we waited for a few minutes before he arrived. When he arrived he was dressed in a soccer shirt and shorts – not so formal here. Exit form filled in our passports were stamped, and we headed over to customs.
2. At customs we presented the carnet. We were then asked about the receipts for the vehicle tax and fuel levy we paid on arrival. With all paperwork present our carnet was stamped.
3. Passports and carnet stamped we were free to leave. The gate was open and there was no guard, so we just rolled out and headed for Zambia.
1. We parked the car in no-mans-land and waited for someone to come open the gate. The immigration official sat in a chair in the shade and waved us his way.
2. In the immigration office we filled in our entry forms while he asked us questions about our previous visits to Zambia. Viking Explorer had been given a double entry visa in Katima Mulilo. It had been stamped into the passport with a paper receipt for the amount paid. As we had entered Zambia twice before this entry this visa had expired and we needed new ones. But apparently the visa Viking Explorer was given in Katima Mulilo was no longer used, and the immigration officer began subtly hinting that Viking Explorer was now in a pickle having had the wrong/an illegal visa issued. A long discussion followed, where the immigration officer “reluctantly” – and after having called Katima Mulilo – decided that we could have a visa. Another discussion followed, where the immigration officer tried to justify why he could only give us seven days, disclosing that he had had a warning for improper conduct already and could not afford another one. Then he stated that if we gave him money for a drink he could give us more days. We declined his offer, and in the end he issued us with 14 days. Needless to say we were not impressed. Towards the end he commented that we did not look particularly happy… wonder why…!
3. After putting the visa sticker into Viking Explorer’s passport – and us telling him that he also needed to stamp the sticker and the passports – we paid our money and could continue on our way.
4. There is no Zambian customs at this border; customs is done at the port of Mpulungu, 25km on bad dirt and 40km on tar from the border post. It is important to reach the customs the same day as entry.
5. The customs office is inside the port compound at Mpulungu, on the other side of Mpulungu town. We drove up to the big double doors of the gate and waited for security. The office is about 100m from the gate, straight ahead, with entrance on the left hand side as you approach. Our experience was that they were very friendly, and the carnet process easy. The necessary carbon emissions permit was also issued and paid for on the spot.
Total time spent at the border was about one hour fifteen minutes. This was a bit longer than average due to the immigration official making things difficult. The customs process took about 10 minutes.
FYI: COMESA Yellow Card Insurance, covers Burundi, DRC, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Rwanda, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. You need to purchase normal insurance for the first country you enter, and then COMESA is an endorsement purchased once you are in the country. The cost of the COMESA endorsement depends on the number of further countries you want to travel into: 1, 2 or 3+. Zambia appears to be one of the cheapest places to buy COMESA insurance.
Tags: border crossing from Tanzania to Zambia; overland border crossing from Tanzania to Zambia, Tanzania Zambia border crossing, Zambia customs, Mpulungu customs, Kasesya, Zombe